Candied Bacon and Chocolate Chip Cookies

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*This article originally posted to www.Somerville.Patch.com*

This unique paring yields surprisingly tasty treats

According Wikipedia, there have been references to the combination of bacon and chocolate on the Internet as far back as 2005. This may or may not be true and really doesn’t reveal when chefs began pairing the two unlikely ingredients together, but this much is certain: The pairing of bacon and chocolate came from chefs and candy makers who were looking to push the boundaries between sweet and savory desserts.

At first I was skeptical of this combination. If someone were to hand me a chocolate bar with bacon bits in it, I’m not sure I would have willingly tried a bite; however, Angharad of the food blog “Writing for England” has made me a believer. I recently put her recipe for Candied Bacon-Chocolate Chip Cookies to the test and to be honest I might never go back.

The subtle combination of sweet and salty flavors is what makes this recipe successful. Think back to breakfast when the maple syrup you intended to cover only your pancakes also coated your freshly cooked bacon. What at first seemed like contamination is actually a winning victory for your taste buds as the sweet maple syrup mingles with the salty bacon.  The same love story applies to these cookies.

Simply enough this recipe begins with the bacon; 10-12 slices of thickly cut bacon are laid out in a foil-lined baking sheet, then coated with ½ c of brown sugar, and baked at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes.

After the first 12 minutes the bacon needs to be taken out and turned over.  A word to the wise: At this point the bacon must be watched carefully as it can misbehave in all that heat! If the bacon is over-cooked it will result in bacon cemented in burnt sugar to the foil, never to be separated again.

After the bacon cooks it should be placed on a wire rack to cool.

At this point it’s time to select your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Below is an adaptation of Angharad’s recipe from her blog.

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For the cookies:

2 ¼ c all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 c softened unsalted butter

¾ c granulated sugar

¾ c packed brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 ½ c semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a small bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and set aside. Next, using a hand or stand mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until creamy and well combined.  Then add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each egg. Slowly add the previously mixed dry ingredients and beat until well combined.

Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and chopped up candied bacon into the dough. On an ungreased cookie sheet drop the dough using either a rounded tablespoon or teaspoon, depending on how large you want your cookies to be. Space the dough at least 1 ½ inches apart from each other.

Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until they are golden brown.  After baking, allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes before placing them on a wire rack to finish cooling.

For the brave of heart and/or stomach, try the chocolate and bacon combination the way it has been celebrated in street fairs and high scale candy shops alike. Fry up 5-7 slices bacon and allow them to cool on paper towels to absorb the excess fat. Next, using a double boiler, melt 6-8 ounces of chocolate and dip the bacon in the chocolate.  Place the dipped bacon on wax paper and put in the refrigerator to cool. Finally, sample your newly made treat and go spread the word that chocolate and bacon is good news.

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